Asthma___Diagnosis_And_Treatment

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					Asthma – Diagnosis And Treatment

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437

Summary:
Asthma, characterized by difficulty in breathing, is a chronic lung
condition. Asthma patients have hyper responsive airways that narrow down
when irritated. This makes air movement difficult and cause wheezing,
coughing, shortness of breath and chest tightness. The two factors that
provoke asthma are –

· Triggers – They irritate the airways and result in Bronchoconstriction.
The common triggers of Bronchoconstriction are cold air, dust, strong
fumes, inhaled irritants, em...


Keywords:
asthma,allergies,asthma treatment,air purifiers


Article Body:
Asthma, characterized by difficulty in breathing, is a chronic lung
condition. Asthma patients have hyper responsive airways that narrow down
when irritated. This makes air movement difficult and cause wheezing,
coughing, shortness of breath and chest tightness. The two factors that
provoke asthma are –

· Triggers – They irritate the airways and result in Bronchoconstriction.
The common triggers of Bronchoconstriction are cold air, dust, strong
fumes, inhaled irritants, emotional upsets and smoke.

· Causes or Inducers – They result in symptoms which may last longer.
Allergies in the form of pollen, animal secretion and molds, and
Respiratory viral infections are the most common inducers.

Asthma diagnosis is important for proper treatment. The common symptoms
for asthma are allergies, hay fever and eczema. The chance of a child
developing asthma is much more when there is a family history of
allergies and asthma. The common symptoms of asthma in children are
breathing problem, repeated nasal stuffiness, itchy eyes, eczema, hives
and persistent cough followed by cold. Diagnosis of asthma involves
physical examination, chest x-ray, blood tests and sputum studies,
allergy prick skin testing, challenge tests, differential diagnosis and a
trial use of asthma medications.

Asthma affects twice as many boys as girls in childhood. It affects more
teenager girls than boys. In adulthood, the ratio becomes equal. The risk
of uncontrolled asthma is greater than the risk a mother or fetus faces
due to medication used to control asthma. Uncontrolled asthma during
pregnancy can produce serious maternal and fetal complications like
premature birth, low birth weight and maternal blood pressure changes.
The most effective treatment for asthma is identifying triggers, such as
pets or aspirin, and limiting or eliminating exposure to them. Anti-
inflammatory medications with Bronchodilators are used for immediate
relief of symptoms. Asthma medications come in various forms like a
metered dose inhaler or a puffer, dry powder inhalers and nebulizers.

The prognosis for asthma is good for children with mild disease. For
asthma diagnosed during childhood, 54% will no longer carry the diagnosis
after a decade. Asthma seems to be more prevalent in athletes than the
rest. A relatively high incidence of asthma is found in sports such as
cycling, mountain biking, and long-distance running, and a relatively
lower incidence is found in weightlifting and diving. The exercise-
induced asthma shares many features with allergic asthma.

Exercise studies are helpful in diagnosing and assessing this condition.
People with mild asthma (infrequent attacks) may use relief medication as
needed. Those who have persistent asthma should take control medications
on a regular basis to prevent symptoms from occuring. A severe asthma
attack requires a medical evaluation and may need hospitalization,
oxygen, and intravenous medications.